The End… And Then A Beginning (12/31/13)

So… tomorrow’s going to kick in a new year and for The River Walk some things will be a little new as well. Some of you might have noticed, I took a week off from writing just before Christmas. During that time I mapped out an entire year for the book of John. So instead of pulling a specific verse from the One Year Bible daily reading, we will be walking step by step, verse by verse, through the book of John.

There will be some other aesthetic changes as well, but for those you will have to stop by tomorrow to see them for yourself. We’ll still be using the 4R’s. Some call that the SOAP method (scripture, observation, application, prayer) and I am not going to mess with what works. I’m going to try and highlight more new, perhaps less well known worship at the ends so the songs might not always tie as closely to the rest as they have been. Hopefully, they usually do.

Anyways, Instead of writing out one last blog to finish up the year, I thought I would take a walk through some of my favorites from the past year. Feel free to chime in with a different one if there’s something that spoke especially to you.

January 15 – The Esqualine Gate
With only 2 likes and 1 comment it certainly wasn’t a very popular one with others, even by those early standards. But this was the first one that used my now common format of picture at top and song at bottom. Beyond that, it uses history and a message of the cross. That’s two of my favorite things to talk about.

February 14 – This Is For You
This was my 100th post. The poem came to me in the shower that morning. It’s not very good, but it captures a raw emotion many feel on this Hallmark holiday. I LOVE this version of Beautiful at the end. Why this one is here is because it was Valentine’s Day that something happened for the River Walk. It had about 450 views that day and went from averaging a few dozen before to a few hundred every day after.

March 28 – He Hears
My heart breaks for the marginalized, the oppressed, the slave. You will find me writing along those lines as often as I can, and this is one of those times I think I did so a bit more eloquently than most. Links at the bottom for opportunities to give. Use ’em.

April 12 – God Doesn’t Fit In Your Box
 The title says it all. We serve such a great and amazing God. He continually defies expectation. I love Him so much.

May 9 – A Place Of Safety
This is a rough memorial day for me. The picture at the top is of my niece. The song montage at the bottom was something I put together for my sister and niece’s memorial service.

June 14 – An Open Letter To Those Who Doubt or Deny God
505 likes. 298 comments. And counting. This one has by far been the most viewed and had the most interactions. Thank you to so many who have reblogged this, threw it up on facebook and twitter, and joined in the dialogue. I’ve seen so many times where this conversation has turned mean and petty on both sides. It hasn’t done so here and many of you are to thank for that.

July 9-11 – Journey To Rome Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
My first series. I spent much of November in an abortive attempt to turn this concept into a book. The concept was great. The book… not so much. What God was showing me through that process was for me, not for sharing. Either way, the whole process turned the end of Acts into one of my favorite portions of scripture.

August 17 – Men, Women, Authority, and Hair
Taking a look at one of the more controversial segments of scripture, I asked you, the reader to way in and give me your interpretation rather than the other way around. You certainly stepped up to the plate and did a great job responding. Thank you.

September 12 – To Catch A Tear
Another one exposing the horrors and the sorrow of the human slave trade. He catches our tears and treasures them. He cares.

October 1 – Will You Dance
This post marked 1 year from my start date. Beyond that, there was an amazing video to a great song at the end and apparently almost 200 of you agreed. This one is worth the read.

November 18 – The Test (Pass or Fail)
A different approach to the work of the cross. God has switched the names on our test. He has taken on Himself our failing grade and wrote for us perfection.

December 9 – I Died, But Look – I AM Alive
This was the second post in less than two weeks that received strong kickback from the international Muslim community. Both were about the divinity of Christ. A good number of the comments… I need a translator. Anyone read Arabic? Google translate just doesn’t do it justice.

January 1, 2014 –
And next up… “In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God. And the Word was God.”
That Word, Jesus, has some awesome things in store for you in this coming year. That River of Life will flow ever wider and deeper than you can imagine. Let us continue to walk this road, following Him, together.

Be Blessed,
BJ

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10 thoughts on “The End… And Then A Beginning (12/31/13)

  1. Thanks for these encouraging and well thought out devotions. Each one has helped keep me reading and praying this year. Can’t wait to see the new approach and have a happy new year!

  2. I enjoyed reading your blog post highlights for 2013. Keep on keepin’ on and advancing God’s Kingdom, BJ. Happy New Year and a productive 2014. -Nicole D. Hayes, Voices Against th Grain

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